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How To Hire Software Developers For a Startup?

paulina.PNGPaulina Kruszewska

Building a team and delivering high-quality IT products wouldn’t be possible without an effective recruitment process and constant contact with potential candidates. Today’s article will share our approach to effective recruitment.

Recruitment process

Job offer preparation

When preparing the advertisement’s content, make sure that you include information that will interest the potential employee, but will also be tailored to your needs. Think about what kind of experience will be valuable for your organization, what technologies are a “must-have” and what can be considered as “nice to have”. When it comes to the requirements section, it’s worth considering any previous experience in working with a startup and also defining the task that needs to be completed. A person with 2 years of experience might be enough for a simple application; for a complex, comprehensive product — someone with 5 years of experience. Conclusion: start by doing needs research.

job offer preparation

Technologies

The choice of technology is very important because it improves the implementation of the project. If you have selected a tech stack, that’s great, you can keep going. However, if you aren’t sure, it’s better to use the help of specialists, who will advise you on choosing the best solution for your startup. We offer such solutions and our tech lead can help you choose the technology free of charge. A well-chosen tech stack will also attract valuable candidates to your company. Remember that programmers have different specializations, e.g. Frontend Developer, Fullstack Developer, Backend Developer, Manual Tester, Automation Tester, etc. There are also developers focused on a specific technology, e.g. Python Developer, .NET Developer, SaaS Developer. Some programming languages ​​are disappearing, which means that developers don’t want to work with them anymore. Statements such as “Frontend Developer for an e-commerce/startup project” might not be enough and won’t attract new candidates and it is well known that a protracted recruitment process equals unnecessarily increased costs.

Salary

Transparency is the basis, so salary information is key. It is worth doing some research to check the average wage median for a given position. If you aren’t sure or are worried that the salary will be too low or too high, we can help you with that matter. We verify the job market around the world on an ongoing basis and we understand the rates perfectly.

In-house or remote?

The decision to work remotely or in-house is not only important for developers. The possibility of creating a remote or hiring outsourced development team allows you to choose from among specialists not only from your country. Check out which countries are home to good technical universities, e.g. Poland is known as one of the leading countries dealing with the development of technology. Many of our developers have already worked on projects of various sizes for multinational companies. We have an easy point of reference in their approach to development, thanks to a large number of meetings, conferences, and activities within the local technology communities that help them develop better products.

What can you offer?

We not only live in the era of work-life balance but also work-life cooperation. Our work is often connected with our life and more and more often we choose companies with a value system similar to ours and benefits that improve the quality of our life. Consider real benefits that you can give to employees and real development opportunities: medical care, sports card, training, knowledge base, industry literature, participation in conferences, English classes with a native speaker, etc. Instead of fruit Thursdays, it’s better to give employees a choice and give them, for example, a lunch card or co-funded meals in the office, where the employee can choose what to eat. Instead of another pen with a logo, it’s better to provide the employee with a workplace adapted to his needs: a chair, desk, monitors, keyboards, etc. During the pandemic, we also took care of remote employees by providing them with furnishings chosen to suit their needs. Therefore, it is worth considering a list of benefits and including them in the advertisements for software developer recruitment. Also, do not be afraid to compare your business to the competition to find out what you can improve on and what distinguishes you from others — for example, it may be paid days off in the case of a B2B contract.

Satisfaction vs Benefits

Job portals

Advertisements on many job portals are often paid, so it’s good to approach them wisely and plan your budget. You can do some research to check where the most advertisements are for Python Developers, for instance. You can add free ads for hiring software developers, among others, on Facebook Jobs and themed groups, like Indeed, Jooble, etc. In the case of paid ads, it is worth paying attention to the number of ad refreshes, promotion on social media, and potential candidate flow. We recommend publications on LinkedIn Jobs (an additional advantage is that LI suggests candidates who meet the requirements from the advertisement) or JustJoin IT (promotion on social media, Facebook groups, refreshing the advertisement 3 times, and an advisor who looks after CV flow and even helps to create the advertisement).

Job portals

Direct search

Most of the candidates are passive candidates (not actively looking for a job), so there is the need for a direct search. The most popular candidate search tools are:

  • LinkedIn Recruiter (purchase of an additional license is needed), many ATS systems also have plugins for LI, such as Link Match (https://linkmatch.net/) which allows you to add and manage candidates from LinkedIn.
  • GitHub (plugin https://recruitin.net/ is helpful)
  • Facebook
  • Internet forums
  • recommendations from other employees (for this purpose we developed a paid referral system)
  • job fairs and Slack groups (both of which we are very active on)

There are several search methods, e.g. Boolean Search (https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/75814/using-boolean-search-on-linkedin?lang=en), where you enter keywords to search via x-ray search or Google. In addition, our recruiter constantly builds her network of contacts and places posts with job offers on her LinkedIn account, which makes it easier for her to build a bond with candidates and send them job offers.

Direct search methods

Tools selection

Recruitment is a constant process and building a database of candidates is crucial. If you don’t have an open vacancy, you still want to stay in touch with developers and build your base and personal brand because it allows you to start the process of hiring software engineers straight away. Activity on social media is also important. You can find Profil Software on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. However, more and more advanced ATS systems are useful for recruitment management. We’ve had the opportunity to test some of them because a properly selected ATS allows you to effectively manage recruitment. Here are the examples:

  • https://www.lever.co/ — allows you to conduct recruitment processes, build a database, is perfectly integrated with LinkedIn (for example, it keeps correspondence history), has a calendly-like calendar, allows CVs to flow directly into the system, has feedback forms that facilitate providing feedback on recruitment processes of various sizes, and is integrated with some job portals.
  • https://recruitee.com/ — integration with LinkedIn, feedback forms, full-text search in the database (allows you to search by keyword without prior tagging), has a calendar function with the option of arranging meetings, and integrates with APIs and job portals.
  • https://www.traffit.com/en/ — a constantly developed ATS system, integrates with APIs, LinkedIn, job portals, and Facebook Jobs. It has a very editable interface that allows you to adapt it to your needs, is constantly updated, and has highly responsive support. It also has a full-text search and integrates with a calendar.
  • https://www.pipedrive.com/en/home-page — although it is a sales tool, it can be customized for recruiting. Thanks to the LinkMatch plugin, it can be integrated with LinkedIn, which will facilitate recruitment (from the LinkedIn level, you can add a candidate to the process and mark the status). It is also possible to integrate with an e-mail box.

Choosing the right tool is very important because it improves the recruitment process, especially at the beginning when the recruitment funnel is the widest and the rotation of candidates is the biggest. We also want to take care of every person who participates in the process.

Screening

After receiving the candidate’s CV, the next step of the recruitment process is screening — a short telephone call with the recruiter, which allows you to check whether the candidate will meet the requirements for the position and match the values ​​represented by the company.

Screening usually takes 20–30 minutes and consists of two parts. In the first part, we introduce the company, position and project. The second part is about checking the candidate’s experience and motivation. This is where so-called ‘recruitment forms’, in which we place the most important questions and criteria for the candidate, are useful. The form later helps a manager to evaluate and decide who to invite to the next stage of recruitment.

recruitment screening process

Take care of the field regarding the candidate’s motivation and soft skills test. Provide a wide field for development. Such information allows you to plan the development path for a potential employee better and understand at the very beginning what is important to him/her. Screening makes recruitment more effective and allows you to choose the best people for the next stage, so it’s worth including this step.

Meeting at the office

Preparation for the meeting consists of several steps:

  1. An email with an invitation, address, directions, estimated time of the meeting, short agenda, etc. Afterwards, arriving at the office, showing the office, offering something to drink, taking the candidate to a previously booked conference room.
  2. Soft part — CEO and manager participate in the meeting. They talk about the company and ask about soft areas, e.g. dealing with criticism, stress, etc. They check whether the person will fit into the organization
  3. Technical part with tech lead + live coding
  4. Summary and information on what happens next, when the candidate will get feedback, etc.

This step is very important because it is usually followed by the employment decision, which is why we place great emphasis on proper preparation. You should also remember that a well-conducted recruitment process reduces rotation and thus costs.

well-conducted recruitment process

Be a team player

There are usually a few people involved in the recruitment’s success. The basis for us is a recruiter with an appropriate mix of knowledge — he/she must know the basics of the technologies we use, be up to date with projects, know the team composition, methodology of our work, development plans, etc. It’s very important for us because the recruiter is the first line of contact with the candidate, verifies competencies, and has a big influence on the opinion of the company. After contacting the recruiter, it is time to meet and talk to the CEO and manager. The tech lead, who is responsible for the technical part and live coding, is also often involved in hiring software developers.

The whole recruitment process must also be in harmony with the candidate’s availability. A useful tool that helps to arrange meetings and telephone calls is calendly (https://calendly.com/), where the candidate can choose a suitable date and time for the meeting, which affects his well-being, but this is a topic for another post.

Recruitment
IT Recruitment
Recruiting Software Developers
Hiring Software Developers
paulina.PNGPaulina Kruszewska
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